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World J Gastroenterol. Sep 7, 2014; 20(33): 11574-11585
Published online Sep 7, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i33.11574
Perspectives on new biomarkers in gastric cancer: Diagnostic and prognostic applications
Danilo do Rosário Pinheiro, Wallax Augusto Silva Ferreira, Mariceli Baia Leão Barros, Mariana Diniz Araújo, Symara Rodrigues-Antunes, Bárbara do Nascimento Borges
Danilo do Rosário Pinheiro, Master Program of Animal Health and Production, Federal Rural University of Amazonia, Belém PA 66077-530, Brazil
Danilo do Rosário Pinheiro, Wallax Augusto Silva Ferreira, Mariceli Baia Leão Barros, Mariana Diniz Araújo, Symara Rodrigues-Antunes, Bárbara do Nascimento Borges, Molecular Biology Laboratory, Biological Science Institute, Federal University of Pará, Belém PA 66075-110, Brazil
Bárbara do Nascimento Borges, Center of Agropecuary Technology, Socio-environmental and Hydric Resources Institute, Federal Rural University of Amazonia, Belém PA 66077-530, Brazil
Author contributions: Pinheiro DR, Ferreira WAS, Barros MBL, Araújo MD, Rodrigues-Antunes S and Borges BN wrote the paper.
Correspondence to: Bárbara do Nascimento Borges, PhD, Center of Agropecuary Technology, Socio-environmental and Hydric Resources Institute, Federal Rural University of Amazonia, Avenida Presidente Tancredo Neves 2501, Belém PA 66077-530, Brazil. barbara.borges@ufra.edu.br
Telephone: +55-91-32017585 Fax: +55-91-32017585
Received: October 22, 2013
Revised: March 14, 2014
Accepted: April 30, 2014
Published online: September 7, 2014
Abstract

Gastric cancer is considered one of the most deadly tumors worldwide. Even with the decline in its incidence, the mortality rate of this disease has remained high, mainly due to its late diagnosis and to the lack of precise prognostic markers. The main purpose of this review is to present genetic, epigenetic and proteomic molecular markers that may be used in a diagnostic and prognostic manner and to discuss the pros and cons of each type of marker for improving clinical practice. In this sense, we observed that the use of genetic markers, especially mutations and polymorphisms, should be carefully considered, as they are strongly affected by ethnicity. Proteomic-based markers show promise, but the higher costs of the associated techniques continue to make this approach expensive for routine use. Alternatively, epigenetic markers appear to be very promising, as they can be detected in bodily fluids as well as tissues. However, such markers must be used carefully because epigenetic changes may occur due to environmental factors and aging. Despite the advances in technology and its access, to date, there are few defined biomarkers of prognostic and diagnostic use for gastric tumors. Therefore, the use of a panel of several approaches (genetic, epigenetic and proteomic) should be considered the best alternative for clinical practice.

Keywords: Molecular markers, Epigenetic, Genetic, Proteomic, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Gastric tumors

Core tip: Despite the advances in technology and its access, to date, there are few defined biomarkers of prognostic and diagnostic use for gastric tumors. Therefore, a combination of several approaches (genetic, epigenetic and proteomic) should be considered the best alternative for clinical practice. Considering this point of view, this review aims to discuss the most studied biomarkers, discussing the pros and cons of each type of marker and their use in the clinical practice.